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Five things I think I think: Reasons to feel good about the Giants

Yes, there are things that have not been done. A lot of positive things have happened for the Giants, though.

Ben McAdoo during rookie minicamp
Ben McAdoo during rookie minicamp
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

So much time is spent fussin' and fightin' over what the New York Giants haven't done, or what they have done wrong, that it is easy to forget that a number of good things have happened for Big Blue this offseason.

With that in mind, let's use this week's version of "Five things I think I think" to discuss five reasons to feel good about what the Giants have done this offseason.

It's a new day

Ben McAdoo is a first-time head coach. He, obviously, doesn't have the resume of Tom Coughlin, the two-time Super Bowl-winning and potential Hall of Fame coach he replaced. He may never equal Coughlin's career accomplishments. There are plenty of tests to come for McAdoo and his newly-formed coaching staff as we figure out whether he is the right guy to steward the Giants for the next several years.

We can also argue all day about whether or not the Giants should have gone farther and swept GM Jerry Reese out with Coughlin. They didn't. Let's not. Let's see how this plays out.

What is obvious is that there is fresh air around the Giants. McAdoo has often talked about the buzz in the building at the Giants' headquarters throughout the offseason, and players have mentioned it as well. No matter your feelings about Coughlin or Reese, after four playoff-less seasons and 12 years with one coach, some type of major change was undoubtedly necessary.

Yours truly will always respect what Coughlin did with the Giants, and anyone who doesn't is simply not recognizing the difficulty of winning two Super Bowl titles in a five-year span -- especially when neither title-winning team appeared capable of that.

Still, things change. For the Giants, so far, so good as they move into a new era.

The defensive line is better

While so much gnashing of teeth has been going on regarding the lack of moves by the Giants on the offensive line let's take some time to recognize how much the better the team's defensive line should be in 2016.

  • Jason Pierre-Paul will play with a glove this season rather than the club he wore last season, meaning he should have use of both hands to grab and tackle. Pierre-Paul will also have the benefit of a full offseason and, barring injury, should be available from the beginning of the season. Pierre-Paul appears to be motivated, in a good place emotionally. Remember what Justin said about JPP during his retirement press conference:

"I think Jason Pierre-Paul is going to shock a lot of people this year."

  • Olivier Vernon is an upgrade from Robert Ayers. That's not a shot at Ayers, who was a productive pass rusher and a good player -- especially when Pierre-Paul was healthy. Vernon is younger, plays more snaps and would seem to be a more complete player.
  • Damon Harrison is a massive upgrade at defensive tackle from Cullen Jenkins and Markus Kuhn. It is often pointed out that Harrison is a two-down run stuffer who doesn't offer anything as a pass rusher. While true, that ignores how good Harrison has been at what he does. He is one of the best run stuffers in the game and should provide a boost to a team that been among the league's worst against the run for the past two years.
  • The Giants will hope for more than half a season from Johnathan Hankins, and will give Owa Odighizuwa every chance to take a step forward in 2016.

There are more offensive weapons

The impossible to figure out Rueben Randle is gone. Rookie second-round pick Sterling Shepard is a Giant, and many analysts have opined that Shepard should be an excellent player for the Giants. Victor Cruz appears on track for a return, though no one knows what to expect after two serious leg injuries and a year-and-a-half out of football.

At tight end, Will Tye has a year of experience, Larry Donnell is back from a neck injury to compete for a role and rookie Jerell Adams adds depth and potential.

At running back the Giants somehow fell into finding Paul Perkins in the fifth round. Perkins and Bobby Rainey give the Giants six running backs to choose from as they enter training camp.

The talent in the secondary is improved

The Giants could use more depth at corner and are young and inexperienced at safety. What they have, though, appears to be an upgrade from what they fielded in 2015.

At corner, Janoris Jenkins has been a healthier and more productive player than Prince Amukamara during his career. Whether or not Eli Apple was the right player for the Giants to pick, does anyone not believe Apple will be an upgrade from Jayron Hosley?

At safety, promising third-round pick Darian Thompson joins Landon Collins, Nat Berhe, Bennett Jackson, Mykkele Thompson and others. No matter who emerges to join Collins at the back of the defense, the subtraction of veterans Brandon Meriweather and Craig Dahl is a positive development.

A core appears to be developing

There are ZERO players remaining from the team's 2011 and 2012 drafts. Pierre-Paul is the only one remaining from 2010. Co-owner John Mara has mentioned several times how those drafts should have provided the Giants with players who would now be the veteran core of the roster. That core, however, does not exist. That's the bad news.

The good news is that a young core that could take the Giants into the future does appear to be developing. Justin Pugh and Johnathan Hankins from the 2013 draft class, Odell Beckham Jr., Weston Richburg and Devon Kennard from the 2014 class, and possibly Landon Collins and Ereck Flowers from the 2015 class

There simply haven't been enough draft picks in recent years who earned second contracts. Perhaps these guys, maybe a couple of others and some of the members of the 2016 class can begin to change that. The Giants' future would be better if that were to happen.